Writer and filmmaker Biyi Bandele has died at the age of 54, his family has announced.
He died in Lagos on Sunday, August 7 according to a statement by daughter Temi Bandele made available to Qed.ng on Monday night.
The statement reads: “I am heartbroken to share the sudden and unexpected death on Sunday 7th of August in Lagos of my father Biyi Bandele.
“Biyi was a prodigiously talented writer and filmmaker, as well as a loyal friend and beloved father. He was a storyteller to his bones, with an unblinking perspective, singular voice and wisdom which spoke boldly through all of his art, in poetry, novels, plays and on screen.
“He told stories which made a profound impact and inspired many all over the world. His legacy will live on through his work.
“He was taken from us much too soon. He had already said so much so beautifully, and had so much more to say.
“We ask everyone to please respect the privacy of his family and friends as we grieve his loss.”
Born on October 13, 1967 in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna to parents from Abeokuta, Ogun State, Bandele was studying dramatic arts at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife, when he won the BBC Playwriting Competition, and thereafter relocated to England where he had a flourishing career as a writer.
He co-directed Blood Sisters, a four-part Netflix Original series by EbonyLife Films.
His earlier works include Half of a Yellow Sun adapted from Chimamanda Adichie’s novel of the same title and Fifty another EbonyLife production.
He was also a director of the TV series SHUGA: What’s Your Reality; FELA – Father of Afrobeat, a TV special documentary for the BBC, and his self-produced TV documentary Africa States of Independence.
His latest work Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman, a Netflix Original movie by EbonyLife Films, adapted from Wole Soyinka’s classic drama Death & The King’s Horseman, is scheduled for screening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.
His novels include The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond, The Street and Burma Boy.
Bandele is survived by his son Korede and daughter Temi.